Bolivia Altiplano Adventure
The Altiplano, or high plain of South America, stretches from northern Argentina to the flatlands of Peru. It is the second largest mountain plateau in the world and holds the highest navigable lake, Titicaca, and the largest salt flat, Salar de Uyuni. Reserva de Fauna Andina Eduardo Avaroa, in the southern rim of the Altiplano, has volcanic peaks and mineral-lakes that support large populations of flamingos and vicuñas.
This Bolivia tour begins in La Paz, the world’s highest capital. Once adjusted to the altitude, visit Lake Titicaca and nearby pre-Inca Tiwanaku Ruins, capital of a powerful pre-Inca civilization. Next to Sucre, Bolivia’s most beautiful city and symbolic heart of the nation. Its known for its well-preserved 16th-century buildings, such as San Lázaro, San Francisco and Santo Domingo. Northeast, the native village of Samaipata has pre-Colombian ruins with a gigantic rock art, made by pre-hispanic cultures.
TRAVEL UNTAMED ON THIS 10 DAY ALTIPLANO ADVENTURE…
And, experience Bolivia’s pre-Inca civilization and its rich heritage.
Start your Bolivia holiday in La Paz, the world’s highest capital, and once you’ve adjusted to the altitude, get set for some real adventure. Nowhere else in South America will you find more authentic Latin American culture.
This holiday in Bolivia will take you to the beautiful Lake Titicaca and the nearby pre-Inca Tiwanaku Ruins, the capital of a powerful pre-Inca civilization that dominated the Andean region between 500 and 900 AD. The monumental remains of this great culture include several temples, a pyramid, symbolic gates, monoliths and mysterious carvings of alien-like faces. Arriving later, the Incas regarded Tiahuanaco as the site of creation by their god Viracoca, who rose from the depths of Lake Titicaca.
Sucre, is Bolivia’s most beautiful city and the symbolic heart of the nation. Set in a valley surrounded by low mountains, Sucre enjoys a mild and comfortable climate. Its many well-preserved 16th-century religious buildings, such as San Lázaro, San Francisco and Santo Domingo, illustrate the blending of local architectural traditions with styles imported from Europe.
The native village of Samaipata is best known for the pre-Colombian ruins with a gigantic rock art, made by pre-hispanic cultures, a unique testimony to its traditions and beliefs that has no parallel to any other site anywhere in the Americas. This tour provides an experience in native religions, dialects, clothes, music and medicines that make up the tapestry of Bolivian life and are yours to share as you become immersed in this country’s rich heritage.
There are no direct flights from Britain to Bolivia. The most direct routes go via Madrid, Miami, Buenos Aires or São Paulo, each of which is connected by daily flights from London; British Airways flies to each of these destinations, and there are numerous other options for both Miami and Madrid. Air Europa, has flights from London via Madrid to Buenos Aires and Lima, from where you can take a connecting flight.
La Paz, Lake Titicaca, Sucre, Potosi
(10 Days – Travel Any Day)
Day 1 – Arrive
La Paz Meet and greet on arrival at La Paz airport, the highest airport in the world and take a private transfer to your hotel where you can relax and become accustomed to the altitude (over 12, 000 feet above sea level).
Overnight at La Paz hotel.
Day 2 – Easy Day to Acclimatise
La Paz Take a relaxed and easy day to acclimatise and explore the mysterious City of La Paz and its surroundings where every corner and street, is a hidden treasure. It is an adventure into the pre Hispanic times with all their traditions and magic on its streets. Explore the native, colonial and modern areas; the Indian Market, Open Air Museum of Tiwanaku, Witch Doctor's Market and breathtaking panoramas, all overlooked by the majestic Illimani mountain.
In the afternoon take a private tour to Valle de la Luna. Valley of the Moon is not actually a valley at all, but an eerie landscape of hills and rock eroded into fantastic shapes and deep gullies. Located in the posh Mallasa borough, you will find the highest golf club in the world.
Overnight at La Paz hotel (B)
Day 3 – Tiwanaku Ruins Tour
Lake Titicaca Moring visit to Tiwanaku Ruins. Tiwanaku was, during its splendour period, the largest city in the world and is considered to be "the Cradle of the American Civilizations". Here you will see the Monoliths, the temples of Kalasasaya and Kontiki, the Akapana artificial Pyramid, their metal and ceramic art work and Bolivia’s national symbol, the astronomically aligned Sun Door, just some examples of the advanced development achieved by this culture.
Continue to Huatajata Harbour on the shore of Lake Titicaca and check into your luxury hotel on the shores of this sacred lake. Here you will have the opportunity to learn more about the Inca culture at the nearby Antiplano Museum and even have your future told by the local shaman, Tata Benjo while he peers deeply into his sacred coca leaves.
Overnight in Inca Utama Hotel & Spa (B)
Day 4 – Explore Religeous Sites
Lake Titicaca This morning you will explore the lake by hydrofoil. This sacred lake of the Incas, the highest navigable lake in the world, is a must-see. It's pristine waters change colours from dawn to dusk depending on the clouds and the angle of the sun. According to the Inca mythology, this is the place where the world was created when the god Viracocha came out of the lake and made the sun, the stars and the first people.
Overnight in Inca Utama Hotel & Spa (B)
Day 5 – Floating Island Tour
La Paz Today you will visit the Urus-Iruitos Floating Island and Quewaya Island Sustainable Tourism project before continuing on to Copacabana to visit the shrine of the Dark Virgin and local market. At the Moon Island you will visit “Inak Uyu”, Sun Virgins temple; the place where the most beautiful virgins of the Incas used to light a sacred fire dedicated to their god and now considered one of the most important ruins on the lake. After lunch we will return to Huatajata for your return journey back to La Paz.
Overnight in La Paz hotel (B, L)
Day 6 – Transfer
Sucre Call it Sucre, La Plata, Charcas, or Ciudad Blanca, this so-called ‘city of four names’ has a rich, varied history and a wealth of historical architecture. After flying here in the morning and checking into your hotel, we’ll take you on a private tour around the city, including visits to the Recolata Museum and the San Francisco Church. You can also check out the local markets for bargains.
Overnight at Sucre Hotel (B)
Day 7 – Silver Mines Tour
Potosi Leave Sucre by land to reach Potosi, once one of the wealthiest cities in the world with an estimated 40,000 tons of pure silver being mined in the 16th Century by the Spanish from Cerro Rico, the mountain overlooking in the city. All these riches came at an enormous human cost with an estimated 8 million slave labourers dying either in the mountain or from illnesses related to working conditions. Rather a sobering thought as you tour the Casa de la Moneda (Royal Mint) and take a look inside one of the mines that still extracts silver. Return to Sucre.
Overnight at Sucre Hotel (B, L)
Day 8 – Transfer
Santa Cruz Transfer to Sucre airport for your flight to Santa Cruz. Meet and greet on arrival and transfer to your hotel. This afternoon, enjoy a city tour of Santa Cruz. Walking on the streets of Santa Cruz evoke the charm and the colonial tradition, combined with a growing commercial activity. Visit the Zoo, one of the most complete in South America; the San Lorenzo Basilica and its museum, la Casa de la Cultura, the "Cica" or centre for the investigation of local crafts, the Arenal Park with the famous mural painted by a local artist Lorgio Vaca and the ethnic folk museum.
Overnight in Santa Cruz hotel (B)
Day 9 – The Pre-Incan Ruins
Samaipata Transfer by road (120km) from Santa Cruz to Samaipata. The pre-Incan ruins at Samaipata and the region east of Santa Cruz called the Chiquitania, where the cities of Concepcion. These ruins are located on the top of a mountain that is like a stone tower rising from the tropical vegetation. Strange carving on a giant rock such as a huge snake and other enigmatic figures, have generated countless archaeological debates and inspired Erik Van Deniken in his books on out of space visitors.
Overnight in Samaipata hotel (B, L)
Day 10 – Depart
La Paz Private departure transfers to the airport to La Paz and connect with your International flight.
The true price is customised based on final choice of hotels, travel dates, and other custom preferences. All prices exclude international flights.
Price Includes: hotels, airport transfers and transportation within the country, unique experiences guided by local experts and 24X7 support during your trip.
Make this your holiday
Overview Bolivia is the highest and most isolated of the South American republics, with stupendous Andean landscapes, which is why this landlocked country is nicknamed ‘the Tibet of the Americas’. In spite of its economic poverty, it has a wealth of remains of ancient civilisations and a fascinating cultural richness. It shares Lake Titicaca, the world’s highest navigable lake, with Peru, Bolivia also boasts the highest capital city in the world, La Paz, sitting on a barren canyon floor 4km above sea level.
Where to go Begin with La Paz, the highest de facto capital (Sucre is its official capital), in the world and one of South America's most fascinating and lively cities. To the west of the city is the country’s most important archaeological site, Tiahuanaco, the civic–ceremonial core of a powerful, self-sustaining empire that held sway from 400BC to between 1000 and 1100AD. Imagine a regal city of multi-terraced platform pyramids, courts, temples, monolithic statues and urban areas, all once painted, gilded and clad in luxurious textiles.
Just north of La Paz the Andes plunge precipitously down into the Amazon basin through the deep, lush valleys of the Yungas. The best base for visiting the Amazon is the town of Rurrenabaque, close to the near-pristine rainforests of Parque Nacional Madidi and the wildlife-rich Río Yacuma.
South of La Paz, is home to some of Bolivia’s foremost attractions. The former mining town of Oruro, best known today for its annual fiesta, La Diablada (Devil Dance), the most famous in Bolivia. The legendary silver mining city of Potosí offers a treasure-trove of colonial architecture and the opportunity to visit the Cerro Rico mines.
Further south in the Altiplano of Bolivia, is Salar de Uyuni, the world’s largest salt lake. You can drive across the surface, which glints like a mirror, especially after rain. The other lakes all differ in colour and texture, depending on the minerals in the salt. The surface of Laguna Colora (‘coloured lake’) is often completely covered by thousands of St James’s flamingos, whose feathers are exactly the same shade of red, as the lake.
To the north of Potosí, the city of Sucre, (Bolivia’s official capital) is small and elegant, with some beautiful colonial architecture, declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. As the home of two of the country's oldest universities, it has a lively cultural scene and several good museums.
Completely different in character to the highland cities, Santa Cruz is a brash, modern and lively tropical metropolis. The city is a good base for exploring the Eastern Lowlands, including the rainforests of Parque Nacional Amboró and the idyllic town of Samaipata.
When to go November - March: This is summer and the rainy season though more pronounced in the lowlands. In the Amazon, road transport can be disrupted though, conversely, river transport becomes more frequent. In the high Altiplano, it rains much less and travel is not as restricted, though delays and road closures still occur but you can get some spectacular photographs of reflections on the salt flats.
April - October: This is winter and the dry season, and is the most popular time of year to travel to Bolivia. The days are usually sunny, and the skies crystal clear, making this the best time of year for trekking and climbing. It is also the best time for visiting the hot and humid lowlands, when temperatures are generally slightly (but pleasantly) lower, although the dry season is less pronounced and rain remains a possibility all year round.
Visas British nationals don’t need a visa to visit Bolivia. The length of stay permitted on entering Bolivia is initially 30 days. This can be extended for a further 60 days, at no extra charge, as long as you apply before the end of the 30 day period at one of the Department of Immigration offices throughout the country. The Department of Immigration has imposed an annual limit for tourists of 90 days in Bolivia without a visa.
Your passport must contain an entry stamp, otherwise you’ll have to pay a fine to leave. If you enter Bolivia overland make sure your passport is stamped on both sides of the border, with an exit stamp from the country you are leaving and an entry stamp on the Bolivian side - you may need to ask for directions to the immigration office. The British Embassy can’t intervene in immigration issues. Make sure you get an entry stamp when you arrive in Bolivia.
Passport validity: Your passport should be valid for a minimum period of six months from the date of entry into Bolivia.
Visa information source: www.gov.uk